Exploring the Halcyon Colonies in The Outer Worlds is better done with some company and fortunately the game offers us 6 companions to choose from and today we’ll talk about them.
I want this to be an epic companions guide for fellow Outer Worlds fans, covering everything you need to know about them, so we’ll discuss some basics about the companion mechanics, how to get the most out of them, which are the best companions to have around, we’ll discuss companion romance and everything you could think of about them.
There are some interesting mechanics related to the companions, quests to be completed and a lot of backstories to be explored, so prepare for a pretty lengthy article below!
The Outer Worlds – Companions List & How to Unlock Them
We’ll start with what is probably the most important part of the guide (apart from selecting the best companions, of course): an overview of each of the six companions that you can get in the game, as well as how to unlock them.
Each companion also has a unique set of perks that will give you some specific boosts in the game.
We’ll list those only here since most of the other perks are the same – and it’s these unique perks that make or break a companion, in my opinion.
Parvati Overview & How to Unlock Her
This is the first companion that you will unlock in the game and you will find her in Edgewater. She is the easiest one to get since you don’t need to have completed any previous quests in order to unlock her.
Instead, all you have to do is visit Reed Tompson’s office in Edgewater (and you will, following the quest line). He will give you a quest and you’ll have the option to take Parvati along. It’s that simple!
Parvati’s unique perks
T1: Bonus Support Engineering: +10 Engineering
T2: Mod Finder: +10% Chance to extract Mods in the Field
T3: Synchronicity: +25% Tactical Time Dilation Meter
Parvati’s special attack
Overload: She slams her mighty hammer to the ground, dealing massive damage, but also stunning and knocking back opponents, meaning that they will be out of action for a few seconds.
My thoughts on Parvati
Thanks to her unique perks, she can be considered extremely useful. The boost to Engineering is good to have around, although not insanely useful during combat.
Her T3 Perk is really good because any boost to the TDM is great to have around. So all in all, I really like Parvati and consider her a good companion.
Vicar Max Overview & How to Unlock Him
He is probably the second companion that you will unlock in the game, soon after getting Parvati. Unlike her, though, getting him requires you to complete some quests first.
You will also find him in Edgewater, in the Church. When you meet him, you will get a quest about a book – and completing a part of it (the Illustrated Man) – will make him available as a companion.
Vicar Max Unique Perks
T1: Bonus Support Hack: +10 Hack
T2: Sermon: +20% Dialog Combat Effect Duration
T3: Mad Max: +20% Science Weapon Damage
Vicar Max Special Attack
Trickshot: He shoots his shotgun, dealing damage and inflicting Knockdown (enemy unable to do anything for a while), as well as Weaken (lowers their skills, increases damage they take from most weapons)
My thoughts on Vicar Max
A man with a really interesting story to follow (maybe the best out of all companions), he’s great to have around thanks to his boost to hacking.
However, his other unique perks are directly related to things you might or might not use, so considering him good or bad eventually depends on your style of play.
Ellie Overview & How to Unlock Her
You will find Ellie on the Groundbreaker, in the Medical Bay. She will be arguing with a doctor there and offer you a short quest before offering to join up with you.
Ellie’s quest is also one to require the Holographic Shroud – which is pretty easy to use as we saw in our guide – so make sure to go through with it quickly if you need a medic in your crew.
Ellie: Unique Perks
T1: Bonus Support Medical: +10 Medical
T2: First Responder: +20% Heal amount granted by Medical Inhaler.
T3: CPR: Recover 25% Health when fatally wounded (5 minute cooldown)
Ellie: Special Attack
Quick Draw: Ellie quickly shoots a few rounds with her pistol, inflicting Bleed (damage over time) and reduces Body Attributes, but does not affect robots. Also applies Disarm, which removes the enemy’s held weapon for 15 seconds.
My thoughts about Ellie
She definitely has some massive Pros, specifically her CPR skill that helps you keep on fighting instead of having to start over when dealing with difficult enemies. Her special attack is really good too.
On the other hand, I don’t really use the Inhaler that much, so the boosts to Medical and the Inhaler itself are not really useful in my opinion. But she’s definitely not a companion to ignore.
Felix Overview & How to Unlock Him
Felix is the first NPC you find when you land your ship on the Groundbreaker – he’s there, fighting with a guard and showing off his calm and understanding personality.
In order to unlock him, you will simply have to talk to him after the fight is over and then get back to your ship after exploring around for a while: he’ll be waiting for you next to your ship, ready to join your crew.
Felix: Unique Perks
T1: Bonus Support Persuade: +10 Persuade
T2: Bootlickers!: +20 Damage to Cowering Enemies
T3: Rebellion: +20 Damage to Corporate Military
Felix: Special Attack
Dropkick: He runs toward the enemy and jump feet-forward at them, kicking them hard and inflicts stagger (knocked back a little, reduced offensive and defensive skills, increased physical damage taken).
He also inflicts Concuss, reducing all attributes and slowing down weapon attack rate.
My thoughts about Felix
Felix has some amazing unique Perks, but I dislike his special attack so much!
It’s always a struggle to weight in the Pros and the Cons here, with Felix definitely helping on the Persuade side and with dealing more damage.
SAM Overview & How to Unlock It
You will find SAM in The Unreliable, on the second floor, once you have access to the crew cabins (after getting your first companion).
In order to get SAM as a companion, you will have to interact with it – he will give you a quest that, once completed, allows you to get SAM as a companion.
SAM: Unique Perks
T1: Bonus Support Intimidate: +10 Intimidate
T3: Bad Samaritan: +20 Damage to Automechanicals
SAM: Special attack
Decontaminate: SAM jumps up in the air and lands near the target, dealing a lot of damage and inflicting Acid (damage over time and reduced armor, with Robots getting more damage), as well as Knockdown.
My thoughts about SAM
Sam is a Tank – he starts with massive armor ratings and has a lot of start from the beginning, making him a really good choice early on. However, he has some clear disadvantages, like not allowing you to change weapons or armor.
Also, he lacks a special Perk – even though his other 2 are really, really good. Difficult to say if he’s good or bad, just like all the other companions out there, but he’s definitely one of the most difficult ones to have around.
Nyoka Overview & How to Unlock Her
She will probably be the final companion that you will unlock in the game, simply because you will only get access to her once you get to Monarch with a particular quest.
She won’t join you immediately – she will have a quest of her own that you will need to complete first, which you need to do because she’s required to move on with the main story.
Nyoka: Unique Perks
T1: Bonus Support Lie: +10 Lie
T2: Hunter: -20% Radius of Footstep Sounds
T3: Exterminator: +20 Damage to Creatures
Nyoka: Special Attack
Barrage: Nyoka uses her custom minigun to shoot nearby enemies, setting them ablaze. Enemies also get -30% Armor rating for 15 seconds and they burn (get damage over time)
My thoughts on Nyoka
Probably one of the most spectacular Abilities in the game (at least visually, when she starts shooting that machine gun, screaming).
She’s also good for those who prefer a stealthier approach and especially useful when dealing with creatures. A good companion to have around in specific situations.
The Outer Worlds – Companions Romance
We are used to have some sort of romance options with our companions, but unfortunately there is no romance in The Outer Worlds. At least not between you and any of the companions that you have.
However, in order to fix that problem up a bit, Obsidian do give some romance options to our followers and if you want to, you can follow those quests as well and see them do well in their personal life.
But between you and your companions? No romance whatsoever, unfortunately. Probably you just have to accept the rules that the captain and their crew must keep it professional.
Can Companions Die in The Outer Worlds?
In most cases, permadeath is not present in the game. Companions can eventually lose all their health and be out of combat until you finish up all enemies, but afterwards they come back and start healing over time.
However, if you are playing the Supernova mode (which brings in a bunch of additional challenges to the game), you will see that permadeath is enabled.
But in most cases and for most players, there should be no worry about their companions dying forever.
Companion Commands and Combat Behavior
During battle (and general gameplay, of course), you have a few settings to personalize how your companions walk and act when they’re following you. These are the general Behavior instructions and commands during combat.
The first one – your companion’s behavior – can be accessed by going to the inventory screen, then navigating to your companion. There, you will have three options to set up:
- Distance (Close, Medium or Far): telling companions how far or close should stay
- Weapon (Melee, Mixed or Ranged): what kind of weapon to use, with “Mixed” giving them the freedom of choice depending on the situation
- Mode (Passive, Defensive, Aggressive): influences how they deal with attacking enemies, from only attacking if they’re told to always attack when the player enters combat
When it comes to these settings, I always instruct my companions to keep a medium distance, choose their weapon depending on the combat situation (although you might want to change that if you have equipped them with a weapon that deals significantly more damage than the other), and have them in Aggressive mode so that I don’t have to worry about instructing them to attack enemies.
During combat, you don’t have a ton of commands to give your companions, but that’s not a bad thing: you can instruct them to attack a specific enemy if you want to (simply point at them and hit the appropriate button or key) or use their special attack aka ability. Easy and straightforward.
Do companions need ammo for their weapons?
No. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about providing ammunition to your companions: just equip them with any weapon that you want to and they will have unlimited ammo for it. Yay!
How to remove a companion from your Crew
If you want to completely get rid of a companion and remove them from The Unreliable, you can do so by talking to the companion you want to remove and selecting the dialog option that does so.
You will need to confirm once more that you want the Companion gone forever and it is probably a decision you can’t undo. So unless you have a solid reason to completely remove a crew member /companion – don’t do it.
If instead you want to remove the companion from the party, you can do that as well, also by starting a dialog with the companion in question and telling them to go to The Unreliable.
If you do this, you will be able to get them as companions later on if you want to. You’ll have to visit the Unreliable to do so, though.
IMPORTANT: Some of the companions, that are aligned with an in-game faction (such as Parvati), might decide to leave your side if your reputation with their faction drops too much or if you take some decisions that they are not particularly fond of.
Best Companions in The Outer Worlds
And now, let’s get to the most fun – and difficult part: that of deciding which is the best companion in the game.
Fortunately, since you can have two companions following you at all times, we will actually have to pick two and not just one… which makes things somewhat easier.
However, the companions are built in such a way that you can’t properly say that one is better than the other: they all have advantages and disadvantages, being more useful in certain situations and less useful in others. So your style of play can have a direct impact over the rankings.
But since choosing the best companions is something I promised to do early on when I started writing this article, I will share with you my favorite two.
Vicar Max & Nyoka
These are the ones that I generally take with me – the first one, for the Hacking boost and his ability, and Nyoka for her helping me tell better lies (and also her ability).
However, I had great success with SAM – he’s a MASSIVE damage dealer and great to have around especially early on. But really, any of the companions can be put to good use… so just select the one you’re completing a mission for or the one you fancy the most.
I know this isn’t extremely helpful, but this is what I think about the companions in the game. Not a ton to really differentiate them, but if I were to rank, the three above would be my top picks, followed by Parvati, Felix and Ellie (in this order).
If you have additional questions about the companions in The Outer Worlds, or if you feel that the best one is a different one – let us know by commenting below.